Archives For June 2014


Curious Handmade Podcast Ep 32

In this episode I’m talking about some events including knit alongs and Unwind Brighton. I also discuss the brilliant Amy Herzog Sweater knitting class I took at Squam recently, Body and Soul. I’ve made a list of the top 10 tips I learnt in the class that I wanted to share with you.

I’m HellsBells on Ravelry, and CuriousHandmade on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

And if you sign up to my email newsletter “Curious Yarns”, I’ll make sure you don’t miss out on any exciting announcements and you also get a free pattern and a coupon code for any Curious Handmade pattern of your choice in my Ravelry shop.


Velvet Rose Knit Along

I’m currently hosting a knit along for the Velvet Rose shawl on the Curious Handmade Group on Ravelry.

It is running until 18 July 2014 so you have three weeks left to start and finish your shawls. It’s not too late to join in.

I will do three more random draws from the chat thread each week for little prizes and then do the main prize draw which includes a prize of Wollmeise lace from projects posted in the FO thread by 18 July.

Wollmeise Lace Yarn

Velvet Rose KAL prize – Wollmeise Lace in Blue Curacao

I’m very happy to encourage double dipping in other knit alongs. Some other KALs on at the moment are:

Leslie and Laura – Knit Girllls

Knit Girllls – Stash Dash 5K – Runs until 7 August

From the Knit Girllls board:

“The rules are simple (and totally cheater friendly):

Knit from stash! Every yard of yarn used from 5/23 to 8/7 counts toward your goal of knitting through 5K of yarn (5,468 yards).”

Michelle – ACTually KNITting podcast –

Podcast Along Knit Along = PAL KAL

Cast on: July 1
Bind off: September 1

“The basic idea is to support a podcaster you listen to or watch by knitting one of their patterns and/or using their yarns for your project.”

Thank you to Archaeo and IrishF for suggesting my patterns and podcast for the KAL and also drawing my attention to this fab KAL

Unwind Brighton

Unwind Brighton is a fibre festival coming up in a few weeks over the weekend of 12-13 of July, in Brighton.

Unwind Brighton

Pebble Beach Shawlette

My Pebble Beach Shawlette will be launched in the Unwind Brighton Programme. Everyone who attends the marketplace or classes will receive a copy of the programme with my pattern included! What an honour!

The pattern will be released on Ravelry as a paid for pattern just after Unwind on 14 July.

Stay tuned for details of a KAL that will kick off at Brighton and continue online afterwards! If you are thinking about casting on at Unwind Brighton you will need a pair of 4mm (US 6) circular needles (100cm long) and a skien of sock yarn 400m/437yds. I’m sure there will be endless opportunities to pick up the perfect skien of sock yarn at the Unwind Marketplace including the Kettle Yarn Co Westminster yarn in “Gold Rush” colourway that I used in the original sample.

Juno Fibre Arts

Juno Fibre Arts will also be in the marketplace and I will have a “mini trunk show” at the stand of my designs knit in Juno Fibre Arts yarn which are Fireflies Rising Shawlette, Curious Collective Shawl, Frangipani Shawl and Glitz at the Ritz.  I will also be at the Juno Fibre Arts stand between 3-4pm on Saturday afternoon to chat with anyone who has questions about the designs.

Podcast meetup

There will be a podcaster meetup at 1pm on Saturday at the Mezzanine level of the Cafe at the Brighton Dome. Just next to the Corn Exchange where the Marketplace is. Come along and say hi!

The Curious Handmade Design Along is back again this year!

Last year I hosted a knit along with a difference and it was so much fun I’m doing it again.

It was a choose your own adventure shawl design so each week I posted a poll on the blog and participants voted for various design options such as the shape of the shawl and yarn. The end result was the Curious Collective Shawl.

I am teaming up with Juno Fibre Arts again and we’re going to use the Juno Alice in sock weight.

The first of the polls will be released on Saturday 5 July in just over a week so stay tuned for more details. If you want to be kept up to date on that – please do sign up to my newsletter on the sidebar of the blog “Curious Yarns”.

The plan is to design along together over 5 weeks and then I will be releasing the design based on the collective choices mid to late August.

Squam Part 2 – Top 10 lessons from Amy Herzog’s Body and Soul sweater workshop

I attended Squam Art Workshops in June and one of my classes was with Amy Herzog in her body and soul sweater workshop.

I have created a “top 10” list of the most valuable lessons I took away from the class.

Amy Herzog Sweater workshop

You can find much more detail on this at

Amy Herzog’s Blog

Amy’s book Knit to Flatter:

UK Amazon link:  Knit to Flatter

US Amazon link: Knit to Flatter

Amy’s Knit to Flatter course on Craftsy is great

Amy Herzog Knit to Flatter Craftsy Course

Custom Fit – “CustomFit makes custom patterns for hand-knit sweaters. It takes your choices, your body, and your hand-knit fabric and produces a pattern perfectly suited to you.”

My Top Ten Tips

1. Embrace the philosophy of choosing and making clothing to fit and flatter your body rather than thinking that there is something wrong with your body

Your body is perfect and if you have clothes that fit and flatter you can feel great

2. Be aware of the mythical Miss Average

Shop bought clothes are designed to fit Miss Average based on a set of average measurements. No one will ever fit all of those measurements.

3. Figure out your body shape

Body Shape is not about size.

4 Choose a pattern to suit your shape

Tips for broadening and lengthening – check out Amy’s website, book and craftsy class for lots more detail on this.

5. Figure out your size

Take a good set of body measurements –  get a friend to help if you can.

Use the upper bust measurement when selecting the size of sweater to knit so it fits well across your shoulders

6. Choose the right yarn

Consider elasticity, drapiness, weight, construction and “scales”.

Have a listen to episodes 5 & 6 of the Knit FM podcast for a very informative discussion about this.

7. Swatching tips

Swatching for both gauge, and just as importantly for the fabric you are creating.

What makes a good fabric for sweaters? Sproing!

8. Modify the pattern to suit you

To avoid creating your sweater for Miss Average, most likely you will need to make some modifications to the design.

9. Or use Custom Fit

If you don’t fancy doing the maths to modify the design yourself then you could consider using Amy’s Custom Fit to do it all for you.

10. Break the rules and have fun!

It’s just knitting after all!

I’m curious: Has anyone knit a Custom Fit sweater? I would love to hear about your experience!

Coming up

Next week I have another knitting superstar guest on the show who I was thrilled to talk to at Squam so make sure you tune in for that.

Instagram – take a picture of where you are listening to the podcast, or what you are knitting and tag me with #curioushandmadepodcast


Ep 31 Curious Handmade Podcast

Today I have a very special treat for you.

In last week’s episode, I talked about my experience at the Spring session of Squam Art Workshops founded by Elizabeth Duvivier held at Squam lake, New Hampshire in the US.

Squam is all about promoting creativity as a way of life.

This week I am so honoured to be sharing with you a conversation I had with Elizabeth at Squam.

We settled into one of the gorgeous cabins in the woods after a magical poetry reading by Sarah Sousa, and Elizabeth shared her stories and wisdom.

Squam Arts Workshops

Elizabeth Duvivier with artist Kerry Lemon

Things we spoke about:

Elizabeth’s Provy Love blog

Amirisu magazine

Jared Flood’s Brooklyn Tweed talk

Squam in the City – Providence session

Squam Arts Workshops

The “process table” in the dining hall where workshop participants share their creations

Squam Arts Workshops

Yarn bombing

Squam Arts Workshops

Elizabeth introducing Jared Flood

This week I am curious about what you do to “get quiet” and listen to your intuition and any tips you have for ways you nurture your creativity …”in real life”?


Play the Curious Handmade Instagram game!

Take a picture of where you are listening to the podcast or what you are knitting and tag me @curioushandmade and #curioushandmadepodcast

One of my sessions at Squam Arts Workshops this year was Narrative Truth, a photography workshop with Amy Gretchen.

Some key tips from Amy in this session:

– A good photograph will have a clearly defined subject and background. This sounds very obvious but it made me think a LOT!

– Deliberately include or exclude things in an image to tell a story more powerfully

– A narrative quality to a picture makes people think about it more and creates interest.

– Practice, practice, practice and practice some more.

– Think about if you only had ONE picture to tell the story of an event or moment, what would it be?

Warming up…..

Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen

Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen



Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen

Light is the subject…

Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen

Point of view…

Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen

Any my favourite…..

A pic of Teri

Narrative Truth, Amy Gretchen


Curious Handmade Episode 30 Squam

Talking about my experience at Squam Arts Workshops last week including my Narrative Truth photography class with Amy Gretchen and a talk by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed.

I’m HellsBells on Ravelry, and CuriousHandmade on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Squam Satis Cabin 

Squam Satis cabin

Squam Satis cabin

Squam Satis cabin

Amy Gretchen’s Narrative Truth photography class

Amy Gretchen Bubbles

Amy Gretchen Bubbles

Talk by Jared Flood from Brooklyn Tweed

Squam Jared Flood talk


Don’t forget to play the Instagram game! Post a photo of what you’re knitting or where you’re listening to the podcast!